- Vodacom and Rain consumers can RICA their sim-cards online, while MTN promises to improve RICA service in the near future.
- Every sim-card in South Africa is mandated to be RICA’ed where personal information such as ID-numbers and living-address are registered to the sim.
- Completing the process online means consumers can avoid lengthy queues.
- For more stories, go to Business Insider South Africa's home page.
Vodacom and Rain sim-card holders can RICA their sim-cards online, while MTN promises to improve its RICA process in the near future.
RICA, short for the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act, is a process whereby every single sim-card in the country is registered with a user’s personal details such as living-address, and ID number.
Parts of the act was ruled unconstitutional by the Pretoria high court in 2019 over concerns of privacy, but the process to register sim-cards remains in place.
Vodacom said it was the first telecommunications company to make use of online RICA in 2018, but this was only used to verify and update RICA information of existing customers.
In November 2019, at the same time as Rain, Vodacom adopted an online process where sim-cards can be RICA’ed through an online application.
This is possible as the network providers work with the Home Affairs department to validate the information provided.
Rain’s chief marketing officer Khaya Dlanga said online registration allows consumers to avoid having to wait in queues at stores to have their sim-cards RICA’ed.
“They can now do it from the comfort of their home, the beach, a bus bench. Anywhere,” he said.
Similar to an instore-RICA, Dlanga said consumers should have a valid South African identity document and a proof of residence that is no more than 3 months old with them.
Meanwhile, MTN South Africa’s corporate affairs executive Jacqui O’Sullivan said while they do not offer an online RICA process, it will introduce an improved solution in the near future.
O’Sullivan said the solution will partner with the home affairs department to leverage digital databases and biometric authentication to improve the process. She did not disclose additional details.
Cell C and Telkom, South Africa's third and fourth largest network providers, said it does not allow for online RICA, with no plans in the near future to release the functionality.
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